Restylane ® is based on a modified form of hyaluronic acid, a substance that is found in all animals and whose main function is to keep water molecules trapped in various tissues to maintain tissue tone. Restylane® is composed of stabilised hyaluronic acid derived from non-animal sources. Hyaluronic acid is continually remade in the body since it normally degrades quickly once made. However, by modifying the molecule, such as in Restylane®, it can be made to last much longer.
The difference between hyaluronic acid and collagen is that hyaluronic acid is pretty much the same in all animals whereas collagen exhibits differences between animal species. This allows us to avoid skin testing when using Restylane® since allergic reactions are almost impossible to get whereas with collagen, skin testing is a prerequisite. Furthermore, repeated collagen injections can eventually cause an allergic reaction while this is not an issue with hyaluronic acid.
Restylane® comes pre-packaged in a syringe which is used to inject the product into the skin. It can be used to smooth out undesirable lines of the face and can also augment the lips in a controlled manner. The result is immediate and swelling, which is mild, generally lasts 24-48 hours.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
The product lasts slightly differently in each patient depending on the skin type, the amount injected and the location of injection. For example, injection into an area that moves continually, such as the lip region will last slightly less than if injected into an area with little or no movement. In general, patients ask for a repeat injection after 6 to 8 months.
DOES ANYTHING HAPPEN TO THE SKIN IF I DON’T REINJECT?
If Restylane® treatments are stopped, the residual product will simply be absorbed by the body and the injected area will go back to its normal pre-injected state without any consequences.
Since skin testing is not required, you may begin your treatment at your first office visit. Since there is some swelling and occasionally some mild bruising, we suggest that you do not return to work until 24-48 hours after injection.